Review by darkdestiny90

"No originality, but still manages to be decent fun"

Arkadian Warriors is not, by any stretch of the imagination, a good game. In fact, I would have to call it a below average hack and slash with pitiful class, special move, and equipment mechanics, as well as next to no customization to your character. The storyline is terrible, the graphics are below average, and most of the dungeons all look identical. To make the situation even worse, the monsters have no real AI and the camera borders on terrible most of the time. So why did I give the same a 7? Because for all of its derivative, stupid game decisions (for which there are many) it still manages to be fun and lasts quite awhile for an XBLA game. Sure it is no C:SOTN, or Rez HD, but it will still give you quite a bit of gameplay for your 10 bucks, which is just about what this game is worth.

Gameplay (7/10) – I hate doing short reviews, but this is one of the few games which a review basically writes itself. Hit the A button to attack, Lock on with L, special move with X. There are no stats to allocate, no special properties to worry about, and no nuances that bring about any form of originality. You will kill enemies, many, many enemies. You will collect gold to buy potions and weapons/armor. You will fight some of the stupidest bosses in the history of gaming (AI Wise). You will hack and you will slash until everything is dead, and your legs are knee high in blood… Ok, that would be awesome, but the E rating doesn't allow it, so knee high in cartoony enemies.

Arkadian Warriors takes from the Diablo school of level design which simply states “Randomly Generated Maps, millions of em”. Collect a handful of keys, open doors, and enjoy not a single interesting aspect of level design except “Cave” or “Green Cave” or the ever popular “Red Cave”. There is no room for error because the game won't let you continue until you kill the enemies you must on each floor, and the minimap is decently functional in finding these bastards as well. Kill, kill, heal, kill, repeat. There are hours of gameplay here, but it's all the same.

The other major problem falls under the fact that the three classes are horribly balanced, with the sorceress being utterly worthless, and the soldier being overpowered to an extent similar to the Soldier class in Mass Effect. The archer is the most unique class, in that he has a bow. The end. To make this even worse, throughout the 20 XP levels, you get 5 skills. Every level each one you have gets stronger, while every 3-5 levels a new one is unlocked. Some of these are awesome, such as the Diablo 2 stolen “Yell”, while others are worthless, such as the Diablo 2 stolen “Fire trap”. There is also a horribly tacked on transformation feature which turns you into a giant monster who does amazing damage but dies 4x as fast. You'll only use this when you're trying to chain together kills (Which is also horribly broken to an extent that it isn't worth mentioning) and it will lead to death quite often on the later levels. It's truly not worth the hassle.

Still, even with these problems, the gameplay is fast paced, and dare I say it, fun. Sure you're killing tons of generic fantasy fodder, but you swing fast, hit hard, and there are always swarms after you. Fireballs shooting from the walls and spike pits help this along as well. You also die surprisingly fast for this sort of game, so staying on one's toes is essential for getting anywhere. There is also no slowdown (which is slightly surprising since Double Dragon had slowdown), and while stupid as rocks, the bosses are pretty scary to look at. If you can turn your brain off and play a game, this is a perfect one to go comatose on. It's relaxing in its simplicity, if nothing else.

Also, I could never get the multiplayer to work, but I assume that it was my fault and not Microsoft.

Story (1/10) – Not only is the story absolutely terrible (to prove your worth, kill 20 giant snakes, with no proof you killed them), but some of the quests are so stupid it's brain numbing. My favorite being “There is a Mystic Deer captive in a random cave in the middle of nowhere, go save it by only killing these 20 scorpions and leaving”. Once you complete killing this scorpions, with no Deer within a million miles of you ever appearing on the screen, you are warped back to town and congratulated on saving the Deer. Why? Hell if I know.

Don't play this game for its story… in fact skip the story, since the deer mission isn't even the most genuinely insulting within the game. I won't even spoil the greatest one, which is near the end and forces you to go to random cave no# 325094 to find objects which have NOTHING to do with anything. It's epic in a really stupid way.

Also the ultimate evil isn't scary in the least, just to spoil that point.

Music (5/10) – I can't remember any music in this game. Seriously, it's there I'm sure, but listening to Sea Wolf is much more enticing then the generic fantasy garbage the game sort of throws at you randomly.

Sound/VA(5/10) – There is no voice acting, and there the sounds aren't the least bit unique or interesting. You might as well just turn the sound off.

Graphics(510) – Decent, if generic, enemy designs don't even begin to hide that this looks like a Dreamcast title. And while I won't take off a point, why the hell don't the monsters bleed? It's not painful to look at, but the muddy textures and lame character designs aren't going to win any awards.

Play Time/Replayability – 5-10- hours (7/10) There is no “Replayability” really, but for 10 bucks the game lasts quite a while, so I can't complain here.

Gameplay - 7
Story - 1
Music - 5
Sound/VA - 5
Graphics – 5
Play time/replayability – 7

The game manages to be fun
It's cheap
Decent enemy designs
No slowdown
Cool looking bosses

Blah Graphics
Terrible AI
Forgettable Sounds and Music
No Variety
No Depth
Nothing particularly new or interesting
Broken XP chain system and transformation system
Story is laughably bad

Buy or Rent – If you find a way to rent it, I envy you. Still, for the price, I can't help but recommend buying it.

Closing Comments – Despite its multitude of problems, it's fast paced and fun, as well as cheap. Good for the hack and slash gamer who just loves killing large numbers of things and getting new equipment.

Final Score - 7/10 (Obviously Not an average)

Reviewer's Rating:   3.5 - Good

Originally Posted: 02/19/08

Game Release: Arkadian Warriors (US, 12/12/07)

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